Chicago Bears Pre-Draft Roster Review

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Aug 24, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chicago Bears helmets during the second half against the New York Giants at Metlife Stadium. The Bears won the game 20-17 Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Before I head to the store to go grocery shopping, I usually check the cupboard and see what I have and what I’m missing to decide what I need to pick up.  Now that we’re less than 48 hours away from the 2013 NFL draft and the best way to try to predict who the Chicago Bears might draft is to look at who they already have.  Let’s look at their roster and see if we can predict what needs they might try to address through the draft. 

Dec 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback

4 Blanchard, Matt QB 6-3 225 24 1 Wisconsin – Whitewater
6 Cutler, Jay QB 6-3 220 29 8 Vanderbilt
12 McCown, Josh QB 6-4 215 33 11 Sam Houston State

Let’s not kid ourselves. This is really just Jay Cutler. While Josh McCown is a guy and Jay’s buddy, he was on the street last season and if the Bears cut him, he’d back back coaching high school.  I would actually be surprised if the Bears didn’t take a sniff at a project for Marc Trestman to mold if the Cutler thing doesn’t work out.

Running Back

25 Allen, Armando RB 5-8 199 23 2 Notre Dame
29 Bush, Michael RB 6-1 245 28 7 Louisville
22 Forte, Matt RB 6-2 218 27 6 Tulane
45 Unga, Harvey RB 6-0 237 26 2 Brigham Young

The Bears appear to be very comfortable at RB with Matt Forte and Michael Bush as a 1-2 punch. Harvey Unga is probably on his ninth life and I suspect if he can’t convert to FB, his days with the Bears might be done. Armando Allen is a good Special Teams guy and offers a change of pace, but the Bears could stand for an upgrade. Look for an undrafted free agent to be added to the mix.

Wide Receiver

19 Anderson, Joe WR 6-1 196 24 1 Texas Southern
80 Bennett, Earl WR 6-0 206 26 6 Vanderbilt
82 Golden, Brittan WR 6-0 185 24 1 West Texas A&M
17 Jeffery, Alshon WR 6-3 216 23 2 South Carolina
15 Marshall, Brandon WR 6-4 230 29 8 Central Florida
13 Moss, Dale WR 6-3 213 24 1 South Dakota St.
81 Toliver, Terrence WR 6-5 204 24 1 LSU
14 Weems, Eric WR 5-9 195 27 7 Bethune-Cookman

Dec. 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) is unable to catch a pass in the end zone in the first half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

A position that was considered a weakness just a year ago appears to be becoming a strength anchored by Brandon Marshall and second year man Alshon Jeffery.  Earl Bennett could surprise some people in the slot.  The other guys will compete for a roster spot or two as ST contributors, but the Bears still need the field stretching WR that a healthy Johnny Knox was supposed to be.  I expect they’ll try to find a mid-round bargain; Knox was a 5th round pick.

Tight End

86 Adams, Kyle TE 6-4 255 25 3 Purdue
83 Bennett, Martellus TE 6-6 265 26 6 Texas A&M
88 Eldridge, Brody TE 6-5 265 26 3 Oklahoma
87 Maneri, Steve TE 6-6 280 25 3 Temple
85 Miller, Gabe TE 6-3 257 25 2 Oregon State
84 Onobun, Fendi TE 6-6 260 26 3 Houston

The Bears are in the midst of overhauling their tight end position. Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth are gone and Martellus Bennett and Steve Maneri are in. A lot of people are hoping the Bears will grab Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert in the first round.  With a lot of other needs, this might be a luxury pick, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Phil Emery looked to provide another big-time weapon for Marc Trestman and the new offense.  Last season’s 4th round pick Evan Rodriguez is listed as a fullback, so this year will be crucial for him to find a role on this team.

Offensive Line

Offensive Tackles

76 Brandon, Cory T 6-7 324 25 1 Oklahoma
78 Brown, James T 6-4 306 24 2 Troy
74 Bushrod, Jermon T 6-5 315 28 7 Towson
72 Carimi, Gabe T 6-7 316 24 3 Wisconsin
79 Scott, Jonathan T 6-6 318 30 7 Texas
73 Webb, J’Marcus T 6-7 333 24 4 West Texas A&M

I suspect the Bears  made a big move in signing Jermon Bushrod to be their starting left tackle because they had a pretty good sense that one of the top tackle prospects wouldn’t fall to them at #20.  J’Marcus Webb will compete with Gabe Carimi and Jonathan Scott for RT, so they could still go for an upgrade. If DJ Fluker is around, it would be hard to pass on him in Round 1.  James Brown and Carimi will compete as guards as well.

Guards

62 Britton, Eben G 6-6 308 25 5 Arizona
68 Slauson, Matt G 6-5 315 27 5 Nebraska
70 Williams, Edwin G/C 6-3 313 26 4 Maryland

As noted above, tackles Carimi and Brown will look to grab a roster spot at guard if they can’t break through as tackles.  Add veterans Eben Britton and Matt Slauson to the mix and you’ve got some competition for the two guard spots.  But competition doesn’t mean quality. If Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper is on the board and #20, the Bears should RUN to the podium to hand in their draft card.  I would love to see an athletic guard in the mix in the second or fourth round depending on how the draft breaks. Kyle Long or Al Warford are interesting prospects.

Center

60 Boggs, Taylor C 6-3 285 26 1 Humboldt State
63 Garza, Roberto C/G 6-2 310 34 13 Texas A&M – Kingsville

Let’s face it, this is about upgrading Roberto Garza, who is getting old and did a decent job stepping into center when Olin Kreutz left.  I really like Brian Schwenke out of Cal as another 2nd round prospect that could step in and be the center for a decade. 

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